How Long Should a Blog for SEO Purposes?

Ashley Merscher

Jun 16, 2020

When clients come to me and ask for search engine optimization services, my first recommendation is a website update. However, that’s followed quickly by blog writing services. Why? 

Consistent blog writing does more for a website and SEO than any one-time website update could. Yet, there’s more that goes into that. Namely, how long should a blog be? Also, is that all you should be worried about?

If you’re looking to rank higher on Google, then it’s essential to use the right words, structure the blog correctly, and achieve the right length. All that together is why businesses often hire an agency like Zeal Marketing Group. We have the tools, experience, and expertise to create well-crafted websites and blogs that will rank on Google. But what if you don’t have the money to pay for someone?

Do-it-yourself Search Engine Optimization

If you don’t have the money to pay a freelancer or agency, chances are you need to do it yourself. So, let’s start with all the basics. What factors of writing should you worry about when writing a blog for your website.

  • Goal: Why are you writing? What will this give the reader? While writing to improve ranking might be the overall goal, if it doesn’t provide something of value to the reader, then all is wasted.
  • Keyword: What is your focus? In this blog, I’m focusing on the words search engine optimization and SEO. With that in mind, I can create a well-crafted blog that both the readers and Google will enjoy.
  • Readability: Writing a 500, 1000, or 2000 word blog is one thing. However, you need separation. Headings (like the one above) create division in the text and make it easier to scan. Bullets, bolded words, and paragraph breaks all combine to make reading online easier.
  • Grammar: Are you a writer? Chances are, the answer is no. You’re a business owner. However, tools like Grammarly can help you create a well-crafted blog that doesn’t have spelling or grammar errors, making you look more professional.
  • Links: You should have at least one outbound link and one internal link per blog. While not strictly required, it will help to boost your credibility and provide sources in your writing.
  • Metadata: Things like alt-text, image naming, meta titles, meta descriptions, and URLs will all have a significant impact on what Google thinks about your work. However, most readers won’t notice the difference at all!
  • Length: Finally, the topic of today. How long should your blog be? In truth, that depends, though there is an optimal length. Many factors will determine your blog’s length.

What is the Minimum Length for a Blog?

If you want a blog to rank well on Google, then the minimum length must be over 300 words. However, that’s assuming all other factors are perfect. My recommendation is never less than 500 words. Why? Google needs enough information to determine your relevance.

Just like a person, the Google bots “read” your page to determine what your content is about. Generally, this is why long-form content ranks higher than short content. However, that’s not always the case.

The Exception

Like anything in life, there are exceptions. The most significant factor here is your industry and keyword. If you search “oxford comma,” you’ll see that of the top five results, only two have more than 500 words, and only three have more than 300 words.

But… there’s a reason for this. Those websites already have a high authority score and credibility within Google. Also, they’ve included important features like metadata, videos, photos, and a comments section.

So, unless you’ve already got a very successful website, medium to long-form is the way to go.

How Long Should I Make My Long-Form Content?

When a content creator or writer refers to long-form content, chances are they’re talking over 1,000 words—still reading? Right now, we’re at 623 words – not quite there yet. While 300 is the minimum length for content to be helpful, the optimum word count is times longer.

Multiple 2020 studies on length have shown that the average length of “top ten content” results is over 2,000 words. The optimum length they say, at least 1,700 words. Why? Longer content is considered better by Google.

In fact, most readers don’t read all of a blog – the length is usually there for Google.

Length Blends With Other Factors

Keep in mind; your long content needs to be expertly written, just like your shorter content – which is usually the hard part. Generally, as content gets longer, quality gets lower. So, it’s essential to make sure you follow all the advice from the section above, no matter the length.

Wow, That’s a Lot to Take In! Boil It Down For Me.

At this point, I could talk about the “top ten methods” or the “10x content method,” but that just makes things even more complicated for the average beginner. Perhaps another time. For today’s purposes, let’s start with a few simple rules for good starter SEO content.

  1. At least 500 words in length – When writing, make sure your content is longer than 500 words. Let’s aim for between 500 and 750.
  2. Pick a searched keyword – My keyword is search engine optimization because it’s searched many times per month, and it’s a service I offer. Other keywords like blog length, SEO, and even “how long should my blog be?” are included because they are associated with my keyword and help to fill my content.
  3. Complete your content – make sure each post you have has a category, featured picture, and meta description.
  4. Hire a professional to teach you – If you’re still confused, hiring someone to train you could be cheaper than hiring someone to do it for you. Contact us today for a free consultation!
Published On: December 1st, 2020 / Categories: General, Writing / Tags: , /

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